World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Australian police raid journalist’s home in Canberra

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) unreservedly condemns this morning Australian federal police raid on a News Corps journalist’s home in Canberra, the capital. Intimidation of this kind poses a grave threat to journalists’ independence and to respect for the confidentiality of their sources, RSF warned.

The target of the raid, the kind of surprise visit every journalist could do without, was Annika Smethurst, the political editor of News Corp’s Sunday newspapers, including The Sunday Telegraph.

Armed with a warrant issued by a Canberra magistrate for an investigation into “alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret,” the police searched her home and seized her computer, her mobile phone and printed documents.

The raid was prompted by a story published in April 2018 revealing that the departments of defence and home affairs were considering extending their powers so that they could order the intelligence agencies to spy on the emails, text messages and bank accounts of any Australian citizen.

Intimidation

“National security cannot be used as grounds for violating press freedom in a story that is so manifestly in the public interest,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “This search warrant is clearly an attempt to intimidate reporters who want to investigate subjects that could embarrass the government. And it poses an unacceptable threat to respect for the confidentiality of their sources. We call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to stop harassing journalists.”

After today’s raid, Ben Fordham, a presenter on the Sydney radio station 2GB and a contributor to Sky News, revealed that he is being investigated by the department of home affairs in connection with his story yesterday about six asylum-seeker boats that are bound for Australia.

Australia is ranked 21st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, after falling two places.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Human Rights: China Journalist Jailed For COVID Reporting Seriously Ill, Must Be Released

UN human rights experts* today urged China to immediately release imprisoned citizen journalist and woman human rights defender Zhang Zhan on humanitarian grounds, saying her health is deteriorating rapidly and her life is in danger... More>>

CID: PNG Deadly Covid Crisis Getting Worse
People in Papua New Guinea are not getting enough Covid vaccines due to misinformation. This is causing immense stress and suffering throughout the country, says Quenelda Clegg Chair of CID’s Humanitarian Network...More>>


Sudan: Bachelet Condemns Killings Of Peaceful Protesters

At least 39 people have been killed by security forces in Sudan since the 25 October military coup, 15 of whom were reportedly shot dead on Wednesday, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights...
More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>


Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>